Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA.O) decided to pull its US$80 billion offer to buy Time Warner Inc (TWX.N) on Tuesday, abandoning plans to create one of the world’s largest media conglomerates, Reuters reported.
The surprise announcement appeared to cut short what many investors had viewed as an inevitable battle of attrition over a deal that would have joined two of Hollywood’s biggest studios and television networks from TNT to Fox News.
Murdoch, who is Fox chairman and chief executive, cited Time Warner’s board’s refusal to come to the table to discuss a takeover as one reason for the stunning turnabout.
“Our proposal had significant strategic merit and compelling financial rationale and our approach had always been friendly. However, Time Warner management and its board refused to engage with us to explore an offer which was highly compelling,” he said in a statement released after the US market closed on Tuesday.
Murdoch also cited Fox’s share price – down about 11 percent since the offer was unveiled on July 16 — saying it had become undervalued, making the deal “unattractive to Fox shareholders”.
Shares of Fox rose 10.4 percent in after-market trade after closing at US$31.30. Shares of Time Warner fell 10.7 percent after closing at US$85.19.
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